Vitamins Gaining New Popularity with Consumers
Vitamins are gaining new popularity as they claim specific health benefits; the word on a food label has consumer appeal.
By Kantha Shelke, Contributing Editor | 01/21/2009
Charlotte Fredrickson of DSM Nutritionals suggests modified food starch-based oil-in-water emulsions of vitamin E. The resulting nano-sized particles (less than 100nm) are no longer visible and create the illusion of clear solution without creaming up or sedimentation. “Microencapsulation helps overcome the stability and interaction with other ingredients issues with vitamin C,” she says.
In and out of the pipeline
Vitamins can lend a health halo to a number of foods.
While the marketing spin focuses on the skin nourishment, the added vitamins (A and C along with biotin, zinc and of course cocoa flavanols) add to the attraction of Dove Beautiful milk chocolates from Mars Inc. (www.mars.com) Hackettstown, N.J.
DCI Cheese Co. (www.dcicheese.com), Richfield, Wis., launched Meza VitaHummus with 25 percent of the RDI of vitamins A, C and E per serving. Frank Chow, marketing manager, says the added vitamins “encourage consumers to eat hummus every day.”
If vitamins can fortify hummus, they can expand into a number of other, perhaps unexpected, categories. Denver-based Humm Foods (www.hummfoods.com), now a subsidiary of General Mills, added vitamins to enhance the nutritionals of Lärabar JamFrakas, a “crispy chewy food bar for kids.” The four varieties are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Generex Marketing claims to deliver “instant sustainable energy” thanks to the vitamins in its spray Baboom.
There is even an energy spray made by Generex Marketing & Distribution, Toronto. Adding vitamins B3 and B6 along with taurine and caffeine create the energy boost in Baboom.
Vitamin K is a relative newcomer to the vitamin spotlight. It includes K1 and K2 forms; the former is poorly absorbed while the latter is highly bioavailable.
Norway-based NattoPharma’s (www.nattopharma.com) MenaQ7 is a commercially produced vitamin K2 that was recently declared self-affirmed GRAS for dairy foods by an independent panel of experts. PL Thomas (www.plthomas.com), Morristown, N.J., is the distributor for the U.S.
Late in 2008, researcher Leon Schurgers at the VitaK institute at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands (www.vitak.com), published recent discoveries that natural vitamin K2 menaquinones – and particularly the longer menaquinones called MK-7, 8 and 9 – had a pivotal role in preventing calcification of the arteries and the decalcification of the bones. The study used MenaQ7 produced by NattoPharma.
So far vitamin K2 has been showing up only in dietary supplements. The Rotterdam Study followed approximately 4,800 subjects between 1990 and 1993, and again until January 2000. It showed vitamin K2 reduced the risk of coronary heart disease mortality and arterial calcification (www.menaq7.com). In this study, vitamin K1 had no effect at all. Rodger Jonas, national business development manager at PL Thomas, says vitamin K2 is being tested in cereal and salad dressing applications.